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2001// 375 WATERY GRAVES
This video was made shortly after a boat carrying a large number of refugees sank in waters patrolled by the Australian Navy. The name of the boat was SIEV X, (Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel).
363 people drowned as a result.
In that same election year, 2001, a racist politician called Pauline Hanson had just narrowly missed out on her seat in Queensland.
In an effort to garner her votes, our then Prime Minister, John Howard took out a full page advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald, in it he is quoted as saying
'We will decide who comes into this country and the circumstances in which they arrive'
This quote was reworking of Pauline's 1996 virgin speech in parliament where she said
"Of course, I will be called racist but, if I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country"
In this video I have taken refugee related media from television, printed stills and then re-filmed then underwater. The images are of boats, passports, people etc.
The work was a first in a triptych of works that were generated around the ideas of 'journey, departure and arrival'. This work is themed around 'journey'.
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